How many drummers have practiced the delicious laziness of grooves such as this?
Other drummers, perhaps eager to impress those who fawn over displays of mechanical mastery, might have rendered this beat with greater insistence—sharper cracks on the snare drum and kick, more clearly defined openings and closings of the hi-hat.
Roger Palm’s feel here is wonderfully drowsy and thereby evokes the disco-ball dreamscape of the song. Notice how his snare drum pickups and the hi-hat barks that follow suggest nothing beyond a little gust of air from the disco floor, enough to put a little extra motion into the dancers’ slacks and dresses, enough to make it easier to move.
How many drummers are content to see the dancers happily in motion?
Updated: 12 PM, May 18, 2015
An interesting twist, brought to my attention by the awesome Lee Rosevere, who reports that this performance is actually a four-bar loop (made with tape because it predates the digital age). Lee, who was tipped off by a fellow musician and ABBA fan, Jamie Shields, has tested this by laying stretches of the groove over other stretches. "[the] drums never go out of phase except for minor edits."
And it's easy enough to believe, given the strict repetition of the part. So let us praise ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus for their tape-loop mastery and the drum arrangement created by their edits.
We'll probably never hear the rest of the larger performance from which these precious bars of Roger Palm's groove were lifted. The few seconds with which we are acquainted ,however, remain beautifully drowsy, punctuated by subtle gusts of emphasis.
Thank you Lee and Jamie.
Thank you Benny and Björn.
And most of all, thank you Roger.
Thank you for reading.